Manchester United have been linked to a number of players so far during the 2014 summer transfer window.
With Louis van Gaal officially starting his duties at Old Trafford this week, the Manchester United faithful have every reason to be confident going into the 2014-15 season off the back of good performance in the World Cup by the Netherlands.
The Dutch coach took his side to the semi-finals, losing out on penalties to Argentina and finishing third after thumping Brazil in the playoff match. The team came home to a hero’s welcome.
Louis van Gaal’s side conceded four goals in seven matches in Brazil – three of these were in their opening two games. They shut out Chile, Costa Rica and Argentina with a very young defence.
The Premier League giants have already completed the signings of exciting duo Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, whilst they have been linked to several stars from the World Cup. Here is how this season’s line-up could look if the rumoured transfers do go through:
We’ve gone for the 4-2-3-1 formation, although van Gaal used a back three during the World Cup. There is a good chance he will switch formations depending on the opposition and even during games in the Premier League, as he did with the Netherlands in this summer’s World Cup.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Manchester United have a dependable goalkeeper between the posts now and have not seriously been linked to sign a replacement.
Left-back: Luke Shaw
Patrice Evra has one-year left on his contract but is rumoured to be heading off to Juventus. Their expensive teenager arriving from Southampton this summer already has Premier League and World Cup experience under his belt.
Centre-back: Mats Hummels
A 2014 World Cup winner who had a good tournament. Has been linked with a move away from Borussia Dortmund for several seasons and has already won the Bundesliga and German Cup with them. Could a new experience be on the cards for Mats Hummels? Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen has also been linked.
Centre-back: Stefan de Vrij
One of the Netherlands’ solid defenders in the World Cup, Feyenoord’s Stefan de Vrij could be whisked away from the Dutch side who have finances to sort out. Could be lured away by most Premier League sides one would think and after a good World Cup showing a big move could be on for him this summer.
Right-back: Phil Jones
Louis van Gaal has a few options already at Old Trafford – Rafael and Chris Smalling the other two but we’re going with Phil Jones who both attacks and defends and has a bit of pace about him.
Holding midfield: Arturo Vidal
Reportedly Louis van Gaal’s number one target this summer, the Juventus box-to-box midfielder is certainly one of the best in his position in world football. Scores several goals to add to his defensive contribution, which would see him as an upgrade on both Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini.
Centre midfield: Ander Herrera
A playmaker with his Spanish technical ability, Ander Herrera will likely link the defence and attack this season with his passing ability. He has the ability to bring teammates into play, spread passes over the pitch and setup chances for his teammates, as he’s done for Athletic Bilbao previously.
Left forward: Wayne Rooney
Criticised by England fans for being played out wide in their World Cup opener, for van Gaal to fit Wayne Rooney into his Manchester United starting XI it may have to be out wide at the expense of Adnan Januzaj. He can do his defensive duties from here and also shoot from the edge of the penalty area on his right foot.
Attacking midfielder: Juan Mata
Played out of position far too often under David Moyes, Juan Mata is Manchester United’s best playmaker and needs to be played in his natural position which is the number ten. Louis van Gaal isn’t stupid and will line his star up where he can do the most damage.
Right forward: Arjen Robben
The Dutch forward has been linked with Manchester United for a while. He’s accomplished everything he can at Bayern Munich, has previously played in England and worked under van Gaal at both Bayern Munich and the Netherlands. Would be a tremendous signing and one that Sir Alex Ferguson failed to pull off a few years ago. Could it finally happen this summer?
Striker: Robin van Persie
Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernández and Danny Welbeck can all play this position but Robin van Persie will be the main striker at Manchester United. He scored four goals under van Gaal in the World Cup and is a predator up front.
Should Manchester United make a couple of these purchases and/or make a good start to the season, expect their odds to drop. They are currently an attractive 6.4 to win the Premier League with Betfair.